Pressure mounts for Oakland city council to vote on A’s waterfront ballpark

A's

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – Shockwaves from Major League Baseball’s announcement that the A’s could consider moving out of Oakland continue to reverberate.

The issue: The progress of the team’s push for a new waterfront ballpark is not moving fast enough for the MLB.

“Oaklanders know, we need to take these kinds of threats seriously but I say hell no, we won’t let them go. This is our moment to rally together and make this project work. MLB has been clear and I appreciate their clarity only a new project at the waterfront is going to keep our A’s in Oakland,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said.

Mayor Libby Schaaf told KRON4 that she appreciates MLB’s clarity when they said Tuesday that the Coliseum site is not a viable option for the future vision of baseball.

The team released the term sheet for the $12-billion privately financed stadium and major community development plan featuring $450-million in community benefits to the city council three weeks ago.

The team president upped the pressure on Wednesday by tweeting out to fans asking them to contact the city council and encourage them to vote.  

He wants that before the end of July.

“It’s not gonna happen, certainly you’re not gonna have my vote if you’re gonna rush me to do that. I’m going through a budget process now and certainly the information whether it’s environmental issues, the transportation issues, the cooperation with a community, it’s not there,” Councilmember Noel Gallo said.

City councilman Noel Gallo says he loves the baseball team but his responsibility is to the people of Oakland. At this time he’s not ready to vote for a waterfront ballpark.

“The financials aren’t very clear, the way it stands you’re asking the city of Oakland at this time to put in $900-million just for the infrastructure and at the same time there’s a lot of push back within the Port of Oakland with some of the businesses that are there and some of the community members but at the same time, I have a site is completely ready to rebuild the stadium over the Coliseum,” Gallo said.

He says he needs further clarification on many questions about the waterfront site that needs to be answered before he’s ready for a vote.

KRON4 also reached out to other council members. Here are their responses:

The Oakland City Council is committed to keeping the A’s in Oakland. I met with Dave Kaval on April 30, and told him the Council leadership — myself, Vice Mayor Kaplan and District 3 Councilmember Fife — are ready to meet with A’s ownership to discuss the project. They have not responded and I reached out today May 11 to reiterate our offer. We are also awaiting additional information from the A’s about the project so that City staff can schedule the term sheet to City Council. 

Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas

My commitment will always be to the residents of East Oakland and ensuring strong community benefits and economic development. I appreciate the contribution of the Athletics and their commitment to stay rooted in Oakland; however, the Council must have an adequate amount of time to thoroughly evaluate their proposed offer to ensure Oakland residents receive a fair, transparent, and equitable deal.

Councilmember Treva Reid

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